Tony Goldwyn did an outstanding job yammering religious rhetoric during sex scenes in Lifetime's "world premiere" of Outlaw Prophet Saturday 7/28, but he was doomed to fail in the role because Warren Jeffs looks like Slender Man and Tony Goldwyn is a certified dreamboat.
Warren Jeffs, as the FLDS prophet, coerced many of his young and underage polygamous brides into traumatizing "heavenly sessions" which amounted to group rape. He is a national nightmare.
Tony Goldwyn simply can't project the high level of pure physical repulsion needed to portray this uber creep. Jeffs is someone you don't want to be in an elevator with. Tony Goldwyn projects rugged masculinity just defiantly chewing a salad.
Ultimately the point of biopics is to put together a high-level Halloween costume of a public figure and then a celebrity does an extended impression of them, and we all pick the physical dissimilarities apart in our living rooms. I have never learned anything new from a biopic. I have only judged the starring actor on pulling off the impersonation.
And yet physical similarity alone isn't enough to make things work. I doubt Sandra Bullock could portray Michael Jackson, despite similar bone structure, for instance.
Doesn't have the moves. Maybe we want to see someone who matches the subject's "spiritual" essence/career trajectory of the subject play the part, so we're watching the actor go through some kind of role-playing therapy . Lohan seemed a natural fit to play Liz Taylor she too went from child star>sex symbol>hot mess. Would Zooey Deschanel do a decent Stevie Nicks because she has thrilled millions with a tambourine ? Would Miley Cyrus' spirit of independence make her a fantastic Eleanor Roosevelt?
Hard to say. What's the best lookalike biopic you've seen? Or the worst? Why do we watch them rather than just documentaries about the actual person? Are they made to be laughed? Are they a pricy acting showcase? Are they a cultural exorcism?